From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze; - Exodus 35:5 NIV
Rain brightened my day this morning because my golf game was cancelled. I welcomed the cancellation because I'd been out of town and wasn't real thrilled about feeling obligated to play in a league event I'd signed up for several weeks ago. However, I would have shown up out of obligation.
While we are obligated to serve and worship Him, God wants more than a sense of obligation from us. He wants our efforts to come from the heart. He craves willing hearts to serve and worship Him. In Exodus 35:5, Moses relays God's message regarding this very subject. He wants His chosen nation to take what they have and bring it to Him for an offering. Notice that God does not say for everyone to come, just "everyone who is willing".
How do we become willing to sacrifice ourselves for God's work? The more we want to learn about God, the more He will show us and the more we will be changed. The more we spend time with God, the easier it is to be willing to give up our plans for His plans. Eventually, God changes our hearts and our attitudes from obligation to offering. God does the work if we let Him in. He creates a willing heart.
For further thought:
1) What are you doing out of obligation for God?
2) If you are giving an "offering" from an unwilling heart or not serving God at all, ask yourself why you are giving or not giving. Consider also a) How much time you are spending with God. Is it enough? and b) Was this "offering" your idea or God's?
Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.